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Support For Wind Farm Development

August 23, 2016
Emmetsburg News

To: Palo Alto County

Board of Supervisors

Dear Board Members:

I am writing to express support for wind farm development within the county. As you know, the Planning and Zoning Commission chose to recommend one half mile tower set-backs from a residential dwelling in their proposed ordinance at their poorly advertised hearing on August 11. Such a recommendation is more than twice the industry standard of 1200 to 1300 feet and will effectively kill any wind energy projects within the county. As you consider the adoption of this ordinance, I am hopeful that set-back distances will be adjusted to comply with industry standards.

The economic benefits of a Wind Energy Conversion System include significant property tax revenues for the county, construction employment during the development phase of a wind farm, a few high paying permanent jobs for the tech and maintenance help needed to support the windmills, and a substantial long term revenue stream for the landowners who sign easements. Additionally, wind energy conversion is a clean renewable source which reduces the production of greenhouse gases providing a benefit to future generations. The objectionable issues include the fact that a small portion of the county area would not be available for aerial spraying; also windmill noise and windmill shadow and flicker concerns during certain seasons of the year. Still other concerns expressed at the hearing included environmental issues and the view that wind towers are unsightly to some people. It was noted that any damage to roads, drainage systems, and waterways would be mitigated by the developer at no cost to the county or landowners.

I have attended all of the public meetings and hearings provided by the Wind Energy Developer, ISU Extension, and the Planning and Zoning Commission and have been persuaded that high dollar investments from a wind farm developer would provide long term benefits to the residents of the county. I would urge you to adjust the set-backs and other regulations in the proposed ordinance which will discourage or prevent well managed wind farms from locating in the county.

Thanks for considering these concerns.


(signed) Keith L. Bare

Emmetsburg, IA



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